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The Development of the Biblical Hebrew vowels

Including a Concise Historical Morphology

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Benjamin Suchard

The development of the Biblical Hebrew Vowels investigates the sound changes affecting the Proto-Northwest-Semitic vocalic phonemes and their reflexes in Tiberian Biblical Hebrew. Contrary to many previous approaches, Benjamin Suchard shows that these developments can all be described as phonetically regular sound laws. This confirms that despite its unique transmission history, Hebrew behaves like other languages in this regard. Many Hebrew sound changes have traditionally been explained as reflecting non-phonetic conditioning. These include the Canaanite Shift of *ā to *ō, tonic and pre-tonic lengthening, diphthong contraction, Philippi’s Law, the Law of Attenuation, and the apocope of short, unstressed vowels. By reconsidering reconstructions and re-evaluating phonetic conditions, this work shows how the Biblical Hebrew forms regularly derive from their Proto-Northwest-Semitic precursors.
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Ahmad Al-Jallad and Karolina Jaworska

This is the first comprehensive dictionary of the Safaitic inscriptions, comprising more than 1400 lemmata and 1500 lexical items. The dictionary includes a lengthy introduction to the inscriptions as well an outline of various aspects of the Safaitic writing tradition.
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Sylvain Patri

The phonetical and phonological interpretation of Hittite is exceptionally complicated. This is due to the data being accessible only through a writing system symbolizing the spoken chain by signs, which does not prejudge the sound form of the units represented, nor the relations of linearity they maintain with each other.
This book is the first comprehensive study of Hittite phonology conducted from a descriptive perspective and the first to use the results of experimental phonetics and phonological typology. In spite of problems probably destined to remain unsolved, this study shows that it is possible to rationally analyze a description of the phonological structure of words.
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Targum Song of Songs and Late Jewish Literary Aramaic

Language, Lexicon, Text, and Translation

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Andrew W. Litke

In Targum Song of Songs and Late Jewish Literary Aramaic, Andrew W. Litke offers the first language analysis of Targum Song of Songs. The Targum utilizes grammatical and lexical features from different Aramaic dialects, as is the case with other Late Jewish Literary Aramaic (LJLA) texts. The study is laid out as a descriptive grammar and glossary, and in the analysis, each grammatical feature and lexical item is compared with the pre-modern Aramaic dialects and other exemplars of LJLA. By clearly laying out the linguistic character of this Targum in this manner, Litke is able to provide added clarity to our understanding of LJLA more broadly. Litke also provides a new transcription and translation of the Paris Héb. 110 manuscript.
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Biblical Hebrew in Context

Essays in Semitics and Old Testament Texts in Honour of Professor Jan P. Lettinga

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Edited by Koert van Bekkum, Gert Kwakkel and Wolter H. Rose

For half a century Jan P. Lettinga (1921), Professor emeritus of Semitic Languages at the Theological University Kampen (Broederweg), greatly influenced the teaching of Biblical Hebrew in the Faculties of Theology, Religious Studies and Semitic Languages in the Netherlands and Belgium by his widely used grammar. This volume honours his legacy and reputation as a Semitist. Lettinga always asked how a historical approach of the Semitic languages and literature would contribute to their understanding, and how this elucidates our reading of the Hebrew Scriptures. Biblical Hebrew in Context applies this approach to issues reflecting the full breadth of Lettinga’s interests: Mesopotamian and Biblical Law, the history, grammar and teaching of Hebrew and Aramaic, and the translation and interpretation of Ugaritic and Old Testament texts.
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The Reconfiguration of Hebrew in the Hellenistic Period

Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium on the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Ben Sira at Strasbourg University, June 2014

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Edited by Jan Joosten, Daniel Machiela and Jean-Sébastien Rey

The present volume of proceedings offers cutting-edge research on the Hebrew language in the late Persian, Hellenistic and Roman periods. Fourteen specialists of ancient Hebrew illuminate various aspects of the language, from phonology through grammar and syntax to semantics and interpretation. The research furthers the exegesis of biblical and non-biblical texts, it helps determine the chronological outline of Hebrew literature, and contributes to a better understanding of the sociolinguistic aspects of the language in the period of the Second Temple. Hebrew did not die out after the Babylonian exile, but continued to be used in speaking and writing in a variety of settings.
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Ambjörn Sjörs

In Historical Aspects of Standard Negation in Semitic Ambjörn Sjörs investigates the grammar of standard negation in a wide selection of Semitic languages. The bulk of the investigation consists of a detailed analysis of negative constructions and is based on a first-hand examination of the examples in context.

The main issues that are investigated in the book relate to the historical change of the expression of verbal negation in Semitic and the reconstruction of the genealogical relationship of negative constructions. It shows how negation is constantly renewed from the reanalysis of emphatic negative constructions, and how structural asymmetries between negative constructions and the corresponding affirmative constructions arise from the linguistically conservative nature of negative vis-à-vis affirmative clauses.
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Arabic in Context

Celebrating 400 years of Arabic at Leiden University.

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Edited by Ahmad Al-Jallad

The writing of Arabic’s linguistic history is by definition an interdisciplinary effort, the result of collaboration between historical linguists, epigraphists, dialectologists, and historians. The present volume seeks to catalyse a dialogue between scholars in various fields who are interested in Arabic’s past and to illustrate how much there is to be gained by looking beyond the traditional sources and methods. It contains 15 innovative studies ranging from pre-Islamic epigraphy to the modern spoken dialect, and from comparative Semitics to Middle Arabic. The combination of these perspectives hopes to stand as an important methodological intervention, encouraging a shift in the way Arabic’s linguistic history is written.
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Sea Peoples of Northern Levant?

Aegean-Style Pottery from Early Iron Age Tell Tayinat

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Brian Janeway

Did an invasion of the Sea Peoples cause the collapse of the Late Bronze Age palace-based economies of the Levant, as well as of the Hittite Empire? Renewed excavations at Tell Tayinat in southeast Turkey are shedding new light on the critical transitional phase of the Late Bronze/Early Iron Age (ca. 1200–1000 B.C.), a period that in the Northern Levant has until recently been considered a “Dark Age,” due in large part to the few extant textual sources relating to its history. However, recently discovered epigraphic data from both the site and the surrounding region suggest the formation of an Early Iron Age kingdom that fused Hieroglyphic Luwian monumental script with a strong component of Aegeanizing cultural elements. The capital of this putative/erstwhile kingdom appears to have been located at Tell Tayinat in the Amuq Valley.
More specifically, this formal stylistic analysis examines a distinctive painted pottery known as Late Helladic IIIC found at the site of Tayinat during several seasons of excavation. The assemblage includes examples of Aegean-style bowls, kraters, and amphorae bearing an array of distinctive decorative features. A key objective of the study distinguishes Aegean stylistic characteristics both in form and in painted motifs from those inspired by the indigenous culture.
Drawing on a wide range of parallels from Philistia through the Levant, Anatolia, the Aegean Sea, the Greek Mainland, and Cyprus, this research begins to fill a longstanding lacuna in the Amuq Valley and attempts to correlate with major historical and cultural trends in the Northern Levant and beyond.
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Edited by Šárka Velhartická

The publication Audias fabulas veteres. Anatolian Studies in Honor of Jana Součková-Siegelová contains 31 contributions on current research topics in the fields of Ancient Anatolian and Near Eastern Languages, History, Religion, and Literature. The topics cover not only the main languages of this geographical area, such as Hittite, Luwian, Hattian, Hurrian, Akkadian, and Sumerian but also comparative linguistics and the latest methods of digitalising cuneiform texts, as well as religion, mythology and divinities, rituals, proverbs and analysis of geographical and historical documentation. Finally, it offers new analyses of some of the most remarkable texts and text passages of the ancient Anatolian literary tradition.